SEEMA JOSHI, UNIVERSITY OF DELHI, INDIA
Purpose: The present study was carried out to answer the question: what is the “youth bulge” calling for in India? The youth bulge which India has been experiencing motivated us to raise this important research question.
Design/methodology/approach: The study makes use of secondary sources of data including reports, books and journals, together with the use of simple statistical tools. An attempt has been made to answer the research question by analysing the trends in central and state outlays on services with a children and/or youth component over the 1991–92 to 2010–11 period in India.
Findings/implications: After examining trends in the social sector expenditure of central and state governments, the study concludes that higher investment is required for programmes with a special youth component, keeping in view the poor educational and health status of the vast majority of the population, despite more than two decades of reforms. In addition, the issues of inefficient implementation, inadequate monitoring, low accountability and poor service delivery need serious attention to ensure holistic youth development.
Originality/value: While there is a lot of literature on the social sector of India, not much has been written specifically about public investment targeted to children and youth. This study attempts to fill this gap in the current literature to some extent.
Keywords: Rapid ageing, Dependency ratio, “Youth bulge”, Window of opportunity, Demographic dividend, Central and state outlays, Services having children and/or youth component
Paper type Research paper
Note: This is a slightly modified version of the paper presented at the 2nd Annual Conference of Maastricht School of Management on the theme “Our Youth: Conflict or Prosperity” held at Maastricht on September 4th 2012